After achieving a noteworthy amount of attention and success in Europe for his debut album Action, French Electronic artist UPPERMOST has set his eyes on America. Having announced the upcoming release of his next EP New Moon, the producer (whose real name is Behdad Nejatbakhshe) is ready to release a new wave of intoxicating Dance tracks, hoping to spread his notoriety beyond the Atlantic Ocean.
The EP, out May 25 via UPPWIND Records, will also contain a remix of UPPERMOST’s “Angels” by Norwegian duo Lemaitre, another BlackBook favorite. Waning in and out of sonic focus, the remix stays true to the original with a beat that is continually revitalized and altered, preventing any possible dullness of premature lethargy. Piece by piece, Lemaitre works the track into a euphoric anthem, creating something reminiscent of Daft Punk in its symphonic prowess that practically begs for vocal accompaniment. Check out the rework below, as well as more on UPPERMOST here + pre-order New MoonHERE.
It may not feel like it outside, but spring is in full effect and summer is just around the corner. Before you know it you’ll be shedding your mid-season moto jacket for crop tops and cut offs, desperately looking for an air-conditioned oasis between basking in the sun. So what better place to escape into than the comforting confines of a darkened cinema? From Albert Maysles’ incredible portrait of a New York legend with Iris and the Safdie Brothers’ visceral heroin drama Heaven Knows What to Bertrand Bonellos’ sexy biopic Saint Laurent and Mia Hansen-Løve’s latest melancholy wonder Eden, there are a wealth of great new films premiering this spring and summer, there will certainly satisfy any cinematic appetite. We’ve rounded up our 10 must-see movies and why you should start getting excited for them. Enjoy.
IRIS, Albert Maysles Released on April 29, 2015
Icon. Legend. Muse. Native New Yorker. Iris Apfel, the 93 year old style icon, is the center subject of late Albert Maysles’ documentary. While we’ve seen a fair share of fashion documentaries the last few years (Bill Cunningham New York, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel) it’s about time there’s a documentary on this beautiful woman. This is not to be missed.
Why get excited?
Documentary pioneer Albert Maysles is documentary. Every film of his has life. Revisit his classics such as Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter, Salesman, etc.
— Taylor Ghrist
SAINT LAURENT, Bertrand Bonello Released on May 8, 2015
Since the last two Saint Laurent biopics were disappointing, we’re sure that this one will take the cake. The trailer, bursting with many pastels and hinting at scandalous moments, leaves you wanting to have this slice of fashionable cinema this summer.
Why get excited?
The film takes on more scandalous aspects of the artist himself and the inner demons he battled. Louis Garrel (The Dreamers) isn’t so bad to look at either.
— Taylor Ghrist
RESULTS, Andrew Bujalski Released on May 29
Bujalski’s new strange and wonderful romantic workout comedy about two personal trainers whose lives become entwined with a wealthy new client.
Why get excited?
Results is an absolute pleasure to watch. Between Bujalski’s intelligent, well-paced writing and the sincere and strange performances from its cast (Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, Guy Pearce), the film defies its genre trappings. The storyline moves between the three lives with ease, providing room for the characters to veer off into idiosyncratic and comic tangents, while providing an interesting look at the intersection of depression and self-fulfillment. Kevin Corrigan is a genius — every small tick and expression that crosses his face is both terribly sad and hilarious as he plays the role with genuine disparity. Bonus: everyone looks wonderful in Under Armor.
HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT, Josh and Benny Safdie Released on May 29th
Josh and Benny Safdie’s heroin drama based on Arielle Holmes’ memoir Mad Love in New York City. Starring Holmes (in a visceral and possessed performance), the film gives an cutting look into the world of drug addiction on the streets of New York.
Why get excited?
This was one of our favorite films of this year’s New York Film Festival. As we’ve noted previously: “Although indebted to the raw and viscerally haunting drug dramas of cinema’s past, the Safdie’s have elevated their influence to create a brutal and unflinching film that’s entirely its own, and one that’s as artfully composed as it starkly natural in its approach.”Heaven Knows What is enhanced even more by an effervescent and sonically pleasurable synth score by pioneering avant-garde composer Isao Tomita. For all of the films brutality and raw energy, there’s something ethereal and dreamlike about it as well. It takes you inside a never-ending nightmare where nothing ever feels quite real and the only tie to reality is the gnawing itch for more.
EDEN, Mia Hansen-Løve Released on June 19
Løve’s latest beautiful and heartbreaking film that solidifies she is one of the most interesting voices in modern cinema. Based on the experiences of Løve’s brother (and co-writer) Sven, Eden tells the story of Paul (played wonderfully by Felix de Givry), one of the pioneering DJs of the early 1990s French rave scene.
Why get excited?
As we noted in our interview with Løve: “Epic in scale and possessed by an ineffable beauty, Løve’s delicate and intelligent films are as gracefully crafted as they are saturated with potent feeling, always leaving you with a visceral impression that lingers long after the credits have rolled. With four features to her name, the 33-year-old French filmmaker has so clearly established her voice and her specific cinematic touch in a way that can take others lifetimes to discover—from her quietly haunting familial dramas All Is Forgiven and Father of My Children, to her incredible meditation on heartbreak Goodbye First Love, and now her latest stunning portrait of a generation.”
THE OVERNIGHT, Patrick Brice Released on June 19
Brice’s dinner party farce meets progressive sex comedy follows what happens when two Los Angeles couples share an unexpected, wild night in.
Why get excited?
As we noted in our interview with Brice: “While commendable for its genuinely great comedic gags, there’s certainly more to The Overnight than what’s hiding below the belt…What begins as a neighborly pizza get-together swiftly turns into a naked (both literally and emotionally) exploration of their relationships—both with their partners and with themselves. Add in some wine, some weed, some skinny-dipping, and a few bottles of champagne and you’ve got one of the most entertaining comedies to emerge on the independent film circuit in a long time, and one that’s as intelligent and cinematically minded as it is scintillating.”
RICKI AND THE FLASH, Jonathan Demme Released on June 26, 2015
Jonathan Demme’s Ricki and the Flash tells the story of a musician (Meryl Streep) returning home to make amends with her family.
Why get excited?
Jonathan Demme (The Manchurian Candidate, Rachel Getting Married) is directing. Rick Springfield stars as a band member in love with Meryl. Also, Meryl Streep’s real-life daughter Mamie Gummer stars as the daughter.
TRAINWRECK, Judd Apatow
Released on July 17, 2015
Judd Apatow, our comedy king, has Comedy Central’s Amy Schumer on board with the latest screenplay and lead performance for his newest Trainwreck. A magazine writer (Amy Schumer) finds great difficulty accepting the idea of monogamy until she meets a doctor (Bill Hader) who just might change her mind. It’s romantic-comedy material and will most likely be a huge summer hit, considering the success of other Apatow films.
Why get excited?
This will be the first major moment for Amy Schumer so that’s exciting. Judd Apatow is behind the project. Also, did someone say Tilda Swinton?
DOPE, Rick Famuyiwa Released on June 12, 2015
Another stylish addition to this summer’s lineup is the indie darling Dope, directed by Rick Famuyiwa (The Wood, Brown Sugar). Somewhat semi-autobiographical, set in Inglewood, California (where Fumuyiwa grew up), Dope is a coming-of-age story about a Malcom, a geek, and his two friends who get involved in a drug deal gone terribly wrong. It’s hysterical.
Why get excited?
The soundtrack, set design, fashions, and clever script make Dope a crowd-pleaser. It was also a hit at Sundance. The Grand Budapest Hotel’s Tony Revolori (the bellboy) also stars. Look out for A$AP Rocky.
This week, enjoy a ton of great films playing around the city. Check out everything from Robert Redford and Bertrand Bonello at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and BAM’s amazing series The Vertigo Effect to Bruce LaBruce at MoMA. Here are the 23 films you should be seeing in New York from now until Thursday.
***MONDAY, APRIL 27***
PAL JOEY, George Sidney BAM
One year before Vertigo, Kim Novak starred in another San Francisco-set story about a man caught between a blonde and a redhead. Pal Joey is a cynical showbiz musical about a wise-guy nightclub singer (Sinatra) who falls for a chorus girl (Novak) while wooing a former burlesque queen (Hayworth). Novak does a slinky striptease as Sinatra croons Rodgers and Hart standards like “The Lady is a Tramp” and “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was.”
A ghost, a painting, and a love that transcends physical boundaries: this supernatural romance anticipates Vertigo as a New York City painter (Cotten) falls in love with an ethereal young woman (Jones) who may have died decades earlier. The atmospheric camerawork heightens the mystical mood, particularly in the delirious, green-tinted hurricane climax.
ORDINARY PEOPLE, Robert Redford The Film Society of Lincoln Center
In his first foray as a director, Redford adapts Judith Guest’s novel with sensitivity and insight. The picture-perfect Jarrett family of Lake Forest, Illinois, is torn apart by the accidental death of their eldest son and the survivor’s guilt of younger brother Conrad (Timothy Hutton), who believes that their detached mother, Beth (Mary Tyler Moore), wishes he’d been the one to die. Making his feature debut, Hutton offers a shattering portrait of grief and teenage angst, becoming the youngest male Oscar winner to date, and Moore subverts her sunny TV persona with a brilliant rendering of withheld affection. Donald Sutherland, Judd Hirsch, and newcomer Elizabeth McGovern complete the cast in this delicate character study, which earned Oscars for Best Picture, Screenplay, and Redford’s direction. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.
THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, Sydney Pollack The Film Society of Lincoln Center
In the wake of Watergate, Sydney Pollack and Redford reunite on this consummately executed and all-too-believable thriller. Redford is Joseph Turner (aka Condor), a reader for the CIA whose low-level job involves entering data into computers to see if secret codes have been leaked. Discovering a plot within the agency that leads to the murder of his colleagues, he must go on the lam like so many Hitchcock heroes before him. With stellar support from Max von Sydow as an assassin, Cliff Robertson and John Houseman as deadly government officials, and Faye Dunaway as a woman Turner abducts and who winds up aiding his escape. (In her memoir Dunaway later wrote, “I’m sorry but the idea of being kidnapped and ravaged by Robert Redford was anything but frightening.”)
THE WAY WE WERE, Sydney Pollack The Film Society of Lincoln Center
With an Oscar-nominated performance in the Best Picture–winning grifter comedy The Sting, and the leading role in one of cinema’s most beloved tearjerkers, The Way We Were, 1973 was a watershed year for Redford. In Sydney Pollack’s film, Redford plays Hubbell Gardiner, a carefree collegiate WASP who meets coed Marxist firebrand Katie Morosky (Barbra Streisand). She deplores his apathy; his friends find her insufferable. Thus begins a decades-long love affair, spanning World War II and the Red Scare. Marvin Hamlisch won a pair of Oscars for his work on the film—one for his original score, and one for co-writing the immortal theme song, now a Streisand standard.
1996. USA. Directed by Bruce LaBruce, Rick Castro. With LaBruce, Tony Ward, Kevin P. Scott, Ivar Johnson, Glen Meadmore, Ron Athey. Cinematography by James Carman. Hustler White, which LaBruce codirected with famed fetish photographer Rick Castro, begins with a man floating face down in a jacuzzi. It’s an image straight out of Sunset Boulevard, and the film is likewise a tale of obsessive desire on the margins of Hollywood. LaBruce stars in his own film once again, this time as the sardonic, queeny writer Jürgen Anger, who has come to California to pursue research for a book about sex workers. Upon arrival he becomes transfixed by one hustler in particular, whom he pursues throughout the film, and the directors pepper this chase with a series of remarkable vignettes that inventory all manner of sex-for-hire scenarios (cowboy role-playing, amputee fantasies, etc.). Filmed along Santa Monica Boulevard and in iconic hooker hangouts like the Yukon Mining Company, Hustler White is at once an unlikely romance and a raunchy ethnography of trick-turning. 79 min.
2014. Germany. Directed by Bruce LaBruce. With Susanne Sachsse, Maria Ivanenko, Boris Lisowski, Krishna Kumar Krishnan. Invited by the conductor Premil Petrovic to stage Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, a musical theater work from 1912 based on the poems of Albert Giraud, LaBruce transposed a strange and tragic episode of true crime onto the composition. Complementing the original atonal score is a narrative about a trans man who is outed by his girlfriend’s father and forbidden from seeing the young woman again. Crestfallen, the protagonist decides to prove the fact of his manhood by castrating a taxi driver and then revealing his newly transplanted member to the two of them. This story, which for LaBruce “serves as a kind of allegory for all gender radicals and outcasts driven to extremes by the disapproval and hostility of the dominant order,” is rendered in a visual style that nods to the era of Schoenberg’s melodrama. LaBruce cheekily appropriates the formal vocabulary of silent cinema with black-and-white photography, irises, and intertitles like “A cock, a cock, my kingdom for a cock!” 51 min.
Vertigo meets 70s sexploitation at its most far out. The lesbian lover (cult star Woronov) of a murdered porn star (Lowry) molds a young actress (also Lowry) into a replica of the dead woman. Oliver Stone associate-produced this soft-core brainteaser, which boasts grimy 70s New York atmosphere galore, an appearance by Warhol superstar Ondine, and a score by electronic music pioneer Gershon Kingsley.
A one-time showgirl and sometimes mob mistress, Gloria is tough and loud, just like her wardrobe. Packing a gun alongside her beloved Emanuel Ungaro skirt suits, Gloria and her 9-year-old neighbor find themselves on the run through the gritty streets of 1980s New York in this action-packed drama.
(1952) “Michel! Michel! Michel!” France 1940, and as a refugee column trudges along a country road, a dog makes a break for it, with its tiny blonde mistress in pursuit — and then the German fighters strike. But if 5-year-old Brigitte Fossey’s understanding of death is limited as she strokes her mother’s cold face, at least she can bury the dog discarded by her peasant rescuers, aided by 11-year-old farm boy Georges Poujouly. And as they build a special, secret friendship, their pet cemetery in the midst of death steadily grows, topped by crosses stolen from graveyards, even as the adults play their own games of buffoonish, grotesque peasant feuds… And then Fossey (“in a performance that rips the heart out” – The New York Times) shouts his name again. Adapted by the legendary team of Jean Aurenche and Pierre Bost from François Boyer’s successful-in-America novel, with a haunting hit score played by guitar virtuoso Narciso Yepes, the ultimately beautiful, hilarious and disturbing Games initially did so-so box office and screened only on the fringes of the Cannes Festival, then nearly got shut out of Venice — where it promptly won its top prize, the Golden Lion — and then became a worldwide art house smash and Clément’s second Best Foreign Film Oscar winner (following the previous year’s The Walls of Malapaga). Approx. 87 min. DCP.
HARD TO BE A GOD, Aleksi Guerman Anthology Film Archives
Anthology’s premiere theatrical run of Aleksei Guerman’s ultimate film, HARD TO BE A GOD, was a smashing success this past January, so we’re heeding the call and bringing it back for these special encore screenings. If you missed it the first time around, don’t let it get away again!
Mel Brooks sends up every Hitchcockian trick in the book in this manic satire in which he stars as an acrophobic psychiatrist who discovers sinister goings-on at the Institute for the Very, Very Nervous. Not only does Brooks riff gleefully on iconic scenes from North by Northwest, The Birds, Spellbound, Vertigo, and more, but he also nails the look and feel of Hitchcock’s work, right down to the use of music and dolly shots.
Pulp auteur Larry Cohen offers a sleazy exploitation take on Hitchcockian malice in this lurid psychosexual thriller about a director (Bogosian) who murders an aspiring starlet (Ms. 45 star Lund) on camera and then creates a movie around the crime, casting a lookalike actress (Lund again) to play his victim. Cohen deploys an intricate film-within-a-film structure to explore the disturbing implications of moviemaking as the ultimate fetishistic fantasy.
In postwar Berlin, a disfigured concentration-camp survivor (Hoss), unrecognizable after facial reconstruction surgery, searches ravaged postwar Berlin for the husband (Zehrfeld) who might have betrayed her to the Nazis. Raising troubling questions about identity, self-delusion, and traumas both personal and historical, German auteur Petzold (Barbara, Yella) invokes Hitchcock’s masterpiece to gut-wrenching effect as he guides this spellbinding noir-melodrama to a shattering climax. Courtesy of Sundance Selects.
SAINT LAURENT, Bertrand Bornello The Film Society of Lincoln Center
Bonello’s latest feature focuses on a dark, hedonistic, wildly creative decade (from 1967 to ’77) in Yves Saint Laurent’s life and career. Over the course of the film, the couturier—convincingly embodied first by Gaspard Ulliel, and later by Visconti stalwart Helmut Berger—becomes a myth, a brand, and an avatar of his era, moving through a string of hothouse ateliers and nightclubs whose centers of gravity all seem to realign around him. Bonello’s primary interest here, however, is cinema’s potential to capture and warp the passage of time. Saint Laurent is a kaleidoscopic torrent of lavish excess, retrospectively pieced together with a Proustian form of fast-and-loose association—and a delirious twist on the modern biopic’s rules and limitations. An NYFF52 selection. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
PAULINE AT THE BEACH, Eric Rohmer The Film Society of Lincoln Center
“He who talks too much will damage himself.” Rohmer won Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival for this unforgettable tale of a 15-year-old girl (Amanda Langlet) learning the ways of grown-ups during a summer holiday with her beautiful divorcée cousin (Arielle Dombasle). The unrequited love, idle lust, and general folly of adults are backlit against the sincerity and curiosity of the observant teen. The Brittany misadventures are rendered in Nestor Almendros’s seaside photography, in his final collaboration with Rohmer. The third of Rohmer’s Comedies and Proverbs films also stars Pascal Greggory and Féodor Atkine.
THE DRIVER’S SEAT, Giuseppe Patroni Griffi Nitehawk Cinema
Mental instability, sexual deviance, and a whole lot of smeared makeup: Giuseppe Patroni Griffi’s low budget arty film The Driver’s Seat (aka Identikit and Psychotic) shows Elizabeth Taylor giving a whole new meaning to a woman on the edge. Her completely mad character “Lise” travels to Rome in search of men for sex and then for…stabbing her with a knife. Based on the novella by Muriel Spark, this film is an overlooked affair complete with deranged performances, police investigators and even Andy Warhol as a British lord(!). It is without a doubt one in the Liz Taylor cannon of madness to know.
FULL MOON IN PARIS, Eric Rohmer The Film Society of Lincoln Center
“He who has two women loses his soul; he who has two houses loses his mind.” In Rohmer’s fourth Comedies and Proverbs film, Louise, a young interior decorator (Venice Film Festival Best Actress winner Pascale Ogier), keeps two residences—one with her boyfriend, Remi, and one without. She chases the freedom of the single life in her Paris pied-à-terre, while Remi stays in the other residence, seemingly a homebody. Rohmer’s finely drawn characterization brings out the confusions and small devotions that complicate a familiar paradox, rarely rendered with such subtlety and maturity. With Fabrice Lucchini as Louise’s friend. A Film Movement release.
THE PORNOGRAPHER, Bertrand Bonello The Film Society of Lincoln Center
Bonello emerged as a major filmmaker with this ambitious, tragic meditation on what would become two of his recurring obsessions: the use of sex as economic capital, and the post-’68 state of political radicalism in France. Jean-Pierre Léaud, in a variation on his role in Olivier Assayas’s Irma Vep, plays an aging filmmaker struggling to adapt to a new mode of cinematic production—but in this case, his favored genre is pornography. He’s hoping to reconnect with his estranged son and, at the same time, complete his erotic masterpiece despite the interventions of a crude producer. His inability to realize either hope is, in Bonello’s eyes, a kind of national failure. A film of tough love and great intelligence, The Pornographer laid the groundwork for many of Bonello’s later achievements.
PRINT SCREEN: CORINA COPP and ‘THE GREEN RAY’ The Film Society of Lincoln Center
In Jules Verne’s 1882 novel Le Rayon Vert, good niece Helena Campbell searches the Scotland Hebrides hoping to see a rare optical phenomenon—a green flash that, when seen as the last ray of color sinks below the horizon line as the sun sets over the sea, affords its viewer a heightened perception, or a deepening of the ability to read “true feeling.” This quest to see, or feel, or love, has generated several avant-gardist green flashes: Raymond Roussel’s “skin of the parting beneath the point of the green pencil” (“le crayon vert”); The Green Box, Marcel Duchamp’s preliminary notes for The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (also known as The Large Glass); a 1965 short story by Alain Robbe-Grillet called “The Shore” (later to become his novel Le Voyeur); and, finally, the wandering, idle Delphine in Eric Rohmer’s 1986 film The Green Ray.
HOUSE OF PLEASURES, Bertrand Bonello The Film Society of Lincoln Center
“I could sleep for a thousand years,” drawls a 19th-century prostitute—paraphrasing Lou Reed—at the start of Bonello’s hushed, opium-soaked fever dream of life in a Parisian brothel at the turn of the century. House of Pleasures is, among other things, Bonello’s most gorgeous and complete application of musical techniques to film grammar, his most rigorous attempt to sculpt cinematic space, his most probing reflection on the origins of capitalist society, and his most sophisticated study of the movement of bodies under immense constraint. A shocking mutilation, a funeral staged to The Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin,” a progression of ritualized, drugged assignations and encounters: Bonello captures it all with a mixture of casual detachment and needlepoint precision.
1940. USA. Directed by Roy Del Ruth. Screenplay by Sam Hellman, Darrell Ware, Lynn Starling, John O’Hara, from a story by Erna Lazarus and Scott Darling. With Joel McCrea, Nancy Kelly, Roland Young, Mary Boland, Lyle Talbot. Roy Del Ruth’s minor contribution to the “comedy of remarriage” cycle casts McCrea as an impecunious horse fancier who finds that his alimony payments to his ex-wife (Nancy Kelly) are interfering with his equine interests—so he tries to marry her off to his boring best friend (Lyle Talbot). Complications ensue at a weekend house party hosted by Mary Boland and populated by supporting stalwarts Roland Young, Cesar Romero, and Elisha Cook, Jr. 83 min.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG LIVE IN CONCERT, EAST BERLIN 1965 Museum of the Moving Image
In 1965, Louis Armstrong went behind the Iron Curtain as a “Goodwill Jazz Ambassador” and gave an unforgettable performance featuring a show-stopping version of “Hello, Dolly!,” and many other great hits. This is a rare screening of a remarkable two-set concert, introduced by Ricky Riccardi, Archivist of the Louis Armstrong House Museum. The screening will be preceded by a reception featuring Louis Armstrong’s treats courtesy of COFFEED.
EMILE HAYNIE, A GRAMMY-WINNING producer originally from Buffalo, New York, won a Grammy for best rap album in 2010 for Eminem’s Recovery, then went on to co-produce Kanye West’s hit single “Runaway.” From there he ventured into pop. After working with artists like Fun. and Bruno Mars, as well as producing Lana Del Rey’s breakout album, Born to Die, Haynie made the decision to follow his dreams and record his own solo album, We Fall. Deeply personal, it features guest appearances by his famous and talented friends, including Brian Wilson, Rufus Wainwright, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Lykke Li. Here in conversation, Lykke Li and Haynie share an intimate discussion about the creative fuel of heartbreak, the sacrifices of an artist, and the state of the music industry today.
LYKKE LI: Emile, what’s your current state of mind?
EMILE HAYNIE: For the fi rst time, happy. It’s weird. I’ve never had to put out my own record before so it’s this strange ball of anxiety that’s been brewing for the year I’ve been making it. It comes out today and I actually woke up at 7:30.
LL: Your album was sprung out of heartbreak — would you say you still feel heartbroken right now? Do you still believe in love?
EH: It’s not broken, but it’s taped together. And yes, more so than ever.
LL: So what is love to you? Would this album have been made if you hadn’t had your heart broken? Do you think there’s a correlation between heartbreak and creativity?
EH: Love is a complete combination of acceptance and joy from whatever is loved, whether it’s a song or a family member. Looking back, the funny thing is that when I was supposedly in love, I wasn’t doing anything I was excited about. It was getting out of it that made me excited about my work again, but I wasn’t thinking about that at the time. I was just drowned in heartbreak.
LL: Would you say it was all worth it?
EH: I hope so. I do wonder if I’ll let myself get to that place again. I got hurt and fucked over and now I put up this guard, but I hope I can take it down again.
LL: It’s really interesting that you surround yourself with flowers, because they represent healing. Also, a flower grows from seed to flower and then eventually dies, so it’s a cycle, just like love and creativity. Do you think you’ve come out of this a stronger person? Is love worth fighting for?
EH: Stronger is an understatement. And yeah, love is the only thing that’s really worth physically fighting for.
LL: An album is a great way to examine heartbreak and also get to know yourself and what you want. Do you wonder if you find love that you won’t make another album?
EH: I’d love to make an album about how in love I am.
LL: Talking from experience, that does not work.
EH: Is that not possible?
LL: No, you just get fat and watch TV.
EH: I’m down to get fat, watch TV, and write some shitty, cheesy songs.
LL: Who’s your dream date?
EH: Rosario Dawson. I’ve always loved her.
LL: She’s hot.
EH: Yeah, and just cool.
LL: And do you practice safe sex?
EH: Yes, of course, every single time. I wouldn’t dream of not doing that.
LL: There’s always a trade-off for paradise, right? Do you feel like you’ve made a lot of sacrifices to be where you are creatively?
EH: Yeah. I look at my friends, the guys I grew up with in Buffalo — who are a bit older than me, so it’s maybe unfair to compare myself — but they’ve already figured out their home life. They have these beautiful families, and they’re so good to them. I have a lot of guilt for not being a better family member. I grew up with cats who make music, and they still do and are cool with it, but they love their kids way more. They’re amused by what I do but it’s not an “I wish I was doing that” kind of vibe. I want to have kids — but can you do both? Some people have kids and manage their career and work but put their family first and are able to exist in both worlds. Not everyone is that kind of person, but I hope I am.
LL: What is your motto on life and in art?
EH: At age 34, these last couple of years are the first time in my life that I’ve felt comfortable and secure in what I’m good at. And more importantly, it’s also knowing what I’m not good at. I don’t feel regret or loss or missing out if I turn down working on something that isn’t me, even though it might be massive, if I’m not comfortable. I feel no guilt. Before, I forced myself to do things I wouldn’t necessarily want to do.
LL: What made you take the step from making beats to writing songs and singing? How did you pick all your collaborators?
EH: I’ve always loved melody. I grew up doing hip-hop and loved making beats, but wanted more. I’ve always loved collecting these old records and taking parts of them
and turning them into hip-hop songs, but I’ve always had the urge to make the music myself. I wanted to figure out, like, why am I attracted to David Axelrod and old choirs and fuzz guitar and mellotrons. I never knew how to make it myself, so I would take it from other sources. But now, I’ve sort of figured out how to do it on my own. Most of my collaborators are people I’m around — my true friends who are actually also some of my favorite singers in the world, which is a really lucky coincidence. Then I have a few other heroes that I really felt like were important to get. I was listening and studying their music so much, like Randy Newman and Brian Wilson.
LL: A lot of artists are in L.A. now. What do you think attracts so many artists here?
EH: L.A. is an escape. I’m a New Yorker; I was there for 16 years but started to get a bit fatigued by the way the city operates. You get weirdly addicted to New York and having constant access to everything you want, which at first was such a beautiful thing but then kind of got in the way of what I should have been doing. The beauty of L.A. is being able to just focus on how nice the light is and how it makes you want to sit around and write songs.
LL: If you could live anywhere, where would
EH: Strangely, I would want to live here. I want to live up on a hill with a view and a hammock. I used to have this dream of the perfect downtown Manhattan scene, but now I want to garden and cook and grow rosemary and have a hammock.
LL: What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t making music?
EH: I’d be working with interiors. I love old, vintage furniture. I think it’s my mom’s fault. She was always obsessed with classic furniture and design. Growing up in Buffalo, there’s a famous Frank Lloyd Wright house not far from where I grew up and we would always go to that. The first cool chair I had was this Charles Pollock chair from the 1960s that my mom picked out of the garbage from uptown Manhattan. She doesn’t buy these things; she finds them. She’s a treasure hunter.
LL: Something I experience a lot, is that after a period of making and writing songs, the world completely opens itself again. Are you sad now that the process of making your
album is done?
EH: Yeah, today I woke up so happy that it came out, but also a bit like, “Aw, the ride is over.” I imagine that’s what it’s like when you do your last show from a tour. You wake up and you’re like, “That was so amazing, but what the fuck do I do now?”
LL: Yeah, it’s a separation anxiety.
EH: You seem to have it all figured out. I really envy you: I’ve never seen you stagnant or unhealthy. I’ve never heard you repeat yourself and I’ve never seen you appear bored.
LL: Wow, that’s great. I am curious about life. If you could have anyone in the world, dead or alive, over for a dinner party, who would you choose?
EH: Besides you?
LL: We have so many friends that we love, but I would also have Bob Marley and Joan Didion.
EH: Bob Marley is a pretty good guest.
LL: You and I have shared a lot of good meals together.
EH: We had lunch when we met and then you made me get up and change my seat like 14 times. You were trying to find the perfect seat. I figured out who you were right off the bat. You just wanted the perfect light where you sat. I thought it was cool.
LL: I am fucking cool. And then what happened?
EH: I think we talked about making music and we talked about food more than anything. We talked about having dinner parties, because I’d go on about how much I cook.
LL: Yeah and then I guess you asked me, “Hey do you want to sing on this song?” No, it wasn’t really like that. I just came in. I remember you had a little hook and I came into this wonderful room. There’s a view, there’s flowers, and just a natural vibe.
EH: Yeah, but you rewrote the hook, though. You made it cooler.
LL: It seems like music in general now, and especially this year, is at a low point. Maybe that’s too negative.
EH: When it comes to award shows and that sort of thing, people are scared to be weird.
LL: I don’t know if they’re scared, it’s just the industry is scared.
EH: That’s what I mean. But isn’t the best ratings and stuff when people go crazy and there’s weird scenes happening and something’s completely inappropriate? I don’t really get it.
LL: Do you want to be famous?
EH: I would like to be known. If you make music, you put it out publicly, so of course you want the public to recognize it. There are so many different levels of fame but I don’t think I’d be comfortable with much more than that. I want the public to hear it; I want them to know I made it.
LL: So Tom Petty or Sam Smith?
EH: Tom Petty. I love Sam Smith,
LL: Iggy Azalea or Azealia Banks?
EH: Iggy Azalea.
LL: Lykke Li or Lady Gaga?
EH: Lykke Li. Can I ask you why you have such a morbid sense of humor?
LL: Because I’m Swedish.
EH: Is that what Swedish people do?
LL: Yeah. So how many times would you say your parties get shut down? There are a lot of parties.
EH: Well, that’s because it’s like the anti-party. It’s weird being a behind-the-scenes dude who works heavily in the music business, and then you get invited to go to some big red carpet party and you might not get let in by security because they have no idea who you are.
LL: Has Miley Cyrus ever been to one of your parties?
EH: I think so. Is that the most juicy fuckin’ tidbit you could pull out, has Miley Cyrus been to my parties?
LL: What do you think are the benefits of smoking?
EH: It makes you look a lot cooler when
you’re doing an interview.
LL: Who would you say is your style icon?
EH: Sean Connery. But of course, now there’s also Gérard Depardieu. I want to look like Gérard Depardieu when I get to be his age.
LL: Last question: How important do you think ergonomic footwear is?
EH: Actually, I think it’s extremely important. This interview would’ve gone completely awry had we not had ergonomic footwear to support it.
LL: It’s fairly comfortable in this day and age. Comfortable style. What’s more important to you: style or comfort, or just both?
From Waxahatchee and the Wombats to Crocodiles and Kaiser Chiefs, check out the 15 concerts you should be checking out around the country this week.
Friday, March 24
French dance wunderkind Madeon heads to NYC’s Webster Hall for two shows tonight. The pop prodigy released his debut album Adventure earlier this year. 6:30pm, 125 E 11th St, New York, NY.
New wave-inspired dream-pop act Suburban Living‘s self-titled album is the perfect accompaniment for melancholy spring days. Check out the Philadelphia-based artist tonight at Pianos, along with Starlight Girls, Spirit Haus, and more. 8pm, 158 Ludlow St, New York, NY.
Boston psych-punks Guerrilla Toss feature at the free show at Brooklyn Night Bazaar tonight, along with Moss Icon, Beech Creeps, and more. Guerrilla Toss will also appear at Shea Stadium tomorrow. 7pm, 165 Banker St, Brooklyn, NY.
Questionably face-tattooed rapper Yelawolf celebrates his new album Love Story with an in-store at Rough Trade in Brooklyn. 6:30pm, 64 N 9th St, Brooklyn, NY.
Saturday, April 25
Boston indie rockers Speedy Ortiz take the stage at Bowery Ballroom tonight, following the release of new album Foil Deer. Frontwoman Sadie Dupuis’s declaration of “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss” on “Raising The Skate” is already one of 2015’s most indelible deliveries. Fast-rising singer and songwriter Mitski opens up the night, along with Krill. 8pm, 6 Delancey St, New York, NY.
End the week dancing as Museum Of Love bring their muscular grooves to Good Room in Brooklyn tonight. Their self-titled album came out last year on DFA Records.
Party like it’s 2006 as UK faves Kaiser Chiefs team up with We Are Scientists tonight at the Wiltern. 7pm, 3790 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA.
Sunday, April 26
Good-humored British indie rock staples the Wombats play a matinée show at Rough Trade in Brooklyn this afternoon. Grab a copy of their new album Glitterbug to get in. They’re also playing at Webster Hall tomorrow. 1:30pm, 64 N 9th St, Brooklyn, NY.
Monday, April 27
Kitsuné presents the show at Baby’s All Right tonight, featuring their signings Buscabulla and Beau as well as Mother. Make sure to get some waffles beforehand for the full Dan Humphrey experience. 9pm, 146 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY.
Catch some sunny alt-pop courtesy of Lucius at Music Hall Of Williamsburg tonight and find out what they’ve been up to since releasing their album Wildewoman two years ago. 8pm, 66 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY.
Tuesday, April 28
It is Tuesday, so clearly the only option is to see iLoveMakonnen tonight. The club’s going up at Bowery Ballroom, and he’ll be accompanied by Key! and Sonny Digital. He’ll also be appearing at Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow. 8pm, 6 Delancey St, New York, NY.
Waxahatchee’s on the road following the release of critically acclaimed album Ivy Tripp, and she stops at the Roxy tonight. The Merge Records artist will be accompanied tonight by Girlpool, whose defiant and detail-oriented approach to songwriting is sure to make you feel a little more alive. 8:30pm, 9009 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA.
Dream-pop darling Empress Of hits Elvis Guesthouse tonight every night for the rest of this week. The New York-based artist recently released new single “Water Water” on Terrible Records. 8pm, 85 Ave A, New York, NY.
Wednesday, April 29
Glam-punk duo Crocodiles heads to Union Pool tonight. Get on your best leather jacket and watch the SoCal band preview tracks from their upcoming album Boys. 9pm, 484 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY.
Dark pop duo MS MR are gearing up for their to-be-announced second album, following 2013’s Secondhand Rapture. Find out what they’ve been working on at an intimate show at Rough Trade tonight. 8pm, 64 N 9th St, Brooklyn, NY.
When filmmaker Patrick Brice’s The Overnight premiered at Sundance in January, most of the post-screening chatter focused on artistic butt hole renderings and prosthetic penises worn by the films stars, Adam Scott and Jason Schwartzman. While commendable for its genuinely great comedic gags, there’s certainly more to The Overnight than what’s hiding below the belt. Featuring Scott and Schwartzman alongside Orange is the New Blackstar Taylor Schilling and French actress Judith Godrèche, Brice’s dinner party farce meets progressive sex comedy follows what happens when two Los Angeles couples share an unexpected, wild night in.
“One thing that our movie does that’s really cool, is that it avoids labels,” says Brice about the film’s refreshingly casual attitude towards sexuality and seeking out the curiosities of desire. What begins as a neighborly pizza get-together swiftly turns into a naked (both literally and emotionally) exploration of their relationships—both with their partners and with themselves. Add in some wine, some weed, some skinny-dipping, and a few bottles of champagne and you’ve got one of the most entertaining comedies to emerge on the independent film circuit in a long time, and one that’s as intelligent and cinematically minded as it is scintillating.
The film plays the Tribeca Film Festival this week, so I sat down with Schilling and Brice to chat about following your creative bliss, ditching labels, and the generosity of The Overnight’s cast.
So where did this story come from? Did you have an experience like this yourself?
Patrick Brice: My last film was Creep, which I made with Mark Duplass. It was this found footage experiment of a movie. We shot it very quickly without a crew, it was just the two of us and a video camera. So that was five days and then we spent the next two years working on it and forming it. It was this crazy, long process and I was just tired at the end of it. In the middle I was wanting to do something else and Mark said if I wanted to write a small movie that we can shoot in a contained way, he’d produce it. So that’s where The Overnight first came from.
It didn’t come from something person, it came from Mark and I talking to each other about movies we like. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf kept coming up and how that movie is an interesting form to bring into the now. I knew I wanted this movie to end in the way that it did, so the process of writing was just going back and trying to justify that these characters would get to the point where they did. When I went off and wrote it, I think Mark thought that it was going to be a little more dramatic, but I came back with a comedy. On the page it reads as a much broader comedy than it actually is, and that came from me just following my bliss with the writing and trying to create these crazy situations, and also having it all justified at the same time. I wanted each of the characters in the film to be going through their own small journey.
Taylor, can you tell me how you became a part of the film and what attracted you to it and your character?
Taylor Schilling: Mark Duplass brought the script to my attention and then we chatted. I was really intrigued by it and also a little terrified by the material. There was a real tenderness to the arch that every character took. I was really interested in that in the nonjudgmental way that Emily was written. There’s such a capacity for her to become some whiny wife, but she’s really reckoning with her own stuff and learning more about herself. So that’s the genesis of it. Then Patrick and I had coffee and started to talk more extensively about the lens that he was looking at the film through. I was really excited about the pairing of the more wild, raunchy arched comedy aspects of it mixed with an authentic filmmaking style. He really cared about the moment to moment and having the character’s journeys be the most important element of the film. Often times those two things are not married and the idea of putting those two things together was very neat.
PB: That also goes back to following my bliss; those are just two things that I love, and I’ve not seen them married in that way before. That’s part of the reason why I feel like this film is a total reflection of the way I see the world in a lot of ways. One thing I’m proud of about it getting it out there, is I feel like it does reflect a new approach to material that isn’t always taken this seriously.
Do you find that need to do something a bit scary and new is what drives you as an actor?
TS: Totally—and the people too. I really go with my gut on what feels exciting and what feels collaborative. I’m excited by people, and that’s the foundation of doing anything that’s good. You meet people you feel like you can hook into, and everything that Patrick’s saying, I could really hook into his vision. I really related to his sensibility. So something that’s new and people that are inspired, is the recipe.
How was the experience of collaborating with Adam and Jason? I imagine they’re wonderful partners to have in a scene.
TS: Adam and Jason are incredibly generous. They’re also such gifted comedians and actors, but there’s a real generosity to working with them. I always had the sense that I was playing with somebody who was a little better than myself, especially because they’re much more attuned to the improve world than I am. But I always felt like all these volleys were set up that I could just succeed so brilliantly just by reacting or being present to the experience that we were all creating. But they’re all just really good. Adam and I had lunch before we started and there was one group dinner, but the other thing I thought was so conducive to the whole thing is that we all just had one big dressing room. It was like a big living room, so pretty much for two weeks we just hung out together. I’d sleep at home and then we’d just come to hang, and we really got to know each other. It was fun.
Patrick, how much of the film was locked in and how much did you leave room for improv? You put Adam and Jason in a room together…
PB: When those guys were dancing with each other in the scene downstairs, there were at least two or three takes that were blown because the camera operator would start laughing. Naomi and I would be watching the monitors and we’d see them shaking. So yeah, there’s definitely improv in the movie, but it was a pretty set script that we stuck to. I wanted everything to feel real and natural as much as possible, so if that meant people were going to be throwing in improvised lines in between, that was just part of it. Hopefully it’s just one actor reacting to another actor in a real way. So it wasn’t like improv in the sense that it was just joke, joke, but it was more like, how can we make this feel more authentic at any given moment. For me, my job is just creating an environment and a situation where these guys feel comfortable enough where they can just go off and do that. I was working with four actors that have so much more experience than me, so it was nice to learn from them, and at the same time be able to guide them with where my taste was going, while keeping in mind the original vision of the film. So because it was such a small crew, a small cast, and such a contained thing, I felt like there was a lot of room to play.
Was it important to you that the film also show a natural and nonjudgemental portrayal of sexual curiosity?
PB: Yeah, absolutely. One thing that our movie does that’s really cool, is that it avoids labels. I was talking about this last night with Judith, but obviously there’s a label on this movie of being a swingers movie—but it’s not about swingers. Even the people that are the swingers in the movie, this is their first time doing it, this is just an experience that they’re having, this isn’t a lifestyle where they’ve put this language on it and defined themselves in this way. When Adam and Jason have this moment at the end of the movie, I didn’t want it to be something where Adam’s character is all of sudden questioning himself and feeling all this shame attached to it, I just wanted it to be this fluid thing that happens as a result of this night and what everyone’s going through.
Taylor, do you enjoy working on a project like this that’s more intimate and immediate than working in television?
TS: There is something so satisfying about working on finite story with a consistent group of people. I find that being able to really intimately track a story with one person is so helpful. We would often times sit before we’d shoot, while it was still daylight, and mess around with the scene we were about to shoot and relate it to the scene we’re shot a couple days ago. There’s a real cohesiveness to it and you can get really deep with it and there’s a trust. Whereas in TV, there’s a cohesiveness to the relationship with he writers and the cast, but because the directors are so transient it’s different. I really appreciate that. I really love making movies, and I imagine a film as going very deep and making a television show as going quite broad. They’re both incredibly valuable and fun in different ways.
Making a film like this, in such a short time with such a small cast is almost like doing theater. You mentioned Virginia Woolf, but were there any other films you looked to when writing or shared with the cast?
PB: It felt like theater on some level because we only had twelve days to make this movie. We would meet at the beginning everyday and go through our sides and if anything felt wrong, we would make adjustments and then we would plug it in.
TS: We reshaped scenes almost every day. After we got that one day of shooting with Jason under our belt, we’d sit down and be like, this happened yesterday, this is what makes sense to me. It was so fun. Then we’d have a script and all do our best to know our lines. It was all scripted, but there was so much room.
PB: But at the same time, there wasn’t a lot of time for us to do that. So we had to get it to the point where we felt like we had enough and then go because we were shooting like ten pages a day. I would love to have the luxury of having long conversations with Taylor before we started and making her watch movies. That’s always been a dream of mine as a director, getting to work with actors and really getting into it, but we didn’t have that, that just didn’t exist. So for me a lot of it was just surrendering any ego of any kind when it came to that and just focusing on the story, focusing on the characters, and focusing on the work. When you have collaborators that are as focused and intelligent as these guys, it was one of the best experiences of my life.
“You can’t be in this business if you see reality too completely,” says Lisa Kudrow, who first appeared on Friends in 1994 when half-hour sitcoms filmed on sound stages dominated networks, audiences built rituals around their weekly shows, and the idea of reality TV as we know it might as well have been sci-fi. The world came to know her as the lovably eccentric Phoebe Buffay, a character whose unique self-expression and thrifty sartorial choices embodied the term “quirky” before it became a hazard to our lexicon. The show ran for a decade, making Kudrow not only a household name, but also an archetype. In 2004, when Kudrow bid a teary-eyed goodbye to Phoebe, she knew her next endeavor would require her to do more than just act. “I thought, I better get used to the idea that I’m an actual producer and not just be someone with a vanity deal,” she says. “You get the deal because you were on a show, but then you actually have to do the work.”
That work paid off when HBO gave Kudrow and Sex and the City show runner Michael Patrick King the green light to make The Comeback, a comedy-drama series about the entertainment industry that Kudrow starred in, co-wrote, and produced. With Kudrow and King in charge, people expected it to be “Phoebe in Manolos,” but the series was far from it. The Comeback was an acerbic meta-commentary on the budding reality boom. To the dismay of many, HBO declined a second season.
By 2008 she was making Web Therapy with Dan Bucatinsky and Don Roos, and despite her early reservations about the Web series format, the show was one of the first of its kind to garner massive exposure, eventually getting picked up by Showtime. “If you’re going to do something on the Internet, you have to fly right into the storm, and it needs to be about the Internet,” Kudrow says of the series, in which she plays an online therapist. All the action plays out over Skype.
Her Web series turned Showtime hit was still going strong when, nearly ten years after the first season, HBO came back and offered Kudrow and King the chance to create a second season of The Comeback, this time with a built-in cult following. Picking up as Valerie attempts to make a pilot presentation for Bravo mastermind Andy Cohen, season two becomes a show about a show about a show, or as Kudrow describes it, “meta, meta, meta.”
She admits that she broke down while watching the final episode. “I was crying for ten years’ worth of this woman. Oh thank God, she’s actually a person, I thought to myself. This is who she’s always been all along, underneath.”
Fans will be happy to hear that Kudrow and King are talking about ideas for a third season. Although she is no longer an ingénue or an out-there risk-taker, she’s established herself as a comedic institution — a visionary who can dictate the direction of the television landscape.
If you’re familiar with New York-based musical collective Aarktica, you’ll be excited to hear that its principal member, Jon DeRosa, will be releasing a solo album called Black Haloon May 25th. Now based in Los Angeles, DeRosa recorded half of the album in New York before relocating to the Golden State, where the change in atmosphere helped to reinvigorate the singer. He began to see things he’d never witnessed before on the regular, such as a pack of coyotes that often waited in his driveway as he returned from work.
Premiering here, the first single off of Black Halo reminds us of how masterfully DeRosa can take unexpected and beautiful melodic turns with his earthy, baritone voice. With a warm, West Coast ambiance, “Coyotes” is about a connection to nature, something that DeRosa was markedly more capable of discovering after moving away from the concrete jungle. Check out the track below, as well as more on DeRosa here.